Australian PM and zealous Bush ally John Howard has conceded to Labor leader Kevin Rudd- from the BBC;
Australian Prime Minister John Howard has admitted defeat in the country’s general election, and looks set to lose his parliamentary seat.
Mr Howard said he had telephoned Labor leader Kevin Rudd “to congratulate him on an emphatic victory”.
Mr Rudd said the country had “looked to the future” and he pledged to be a prime minister “for all Australians”.
With 70% of votes counted, Labor were on course to win the 76 seats needed to form a government.
More than 20 constituencies from a total of 150 are still to produce a result, but Labor already has 72 seats compared with 48 for Mr Howard’s Liberal-National coalition.
Counted among the reasons for his defeat were his staunch support for Bush policies;
During the campaign, Labor sought to capitalise on the Howard administration’s refusal to sign the Kyoto protocol on climate change.
Mr Howard campaigned on his record of sound economic management.
The BBC’s Nick Bryant, in Sydney, said Labor had swept back into power by harnessing an anti-government backlash.
Mr Howard had found himself on the wrong side of public opinion on the Kyoto protocol and the war in Iraq, our correspondent said. Many people also seemed to be simply tired of Mr Howard after 11 years of his rule.
One would hope now that Howard is gone, and as Bush find himself more isolated in the worldÂ than ever, his positions would start to soften.Â I doubt it, but one less corporate right wing government has to be a good thing.